MAG Q&A on gameplay

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MAG Q&A on gameplay

Post by Event Status on Sun Jul 12, 2009 5:03 pm




At E3 we had the opportunity to go behind the scenes and away from the crowd to talk MAG with some Zipper developers. Thanks to our insane schedule we weren't able to ask all the questions we wanted, especially some from viewers, so Zipper and SCEA obliged in helping us wrap up the Q/A.

So enjoy even more information about what is destined to become the new way to play online first-person shooters.

(Answers provided by Andy Beaudoin, Lead Designer on MAG)


What inspired a game like MAG? Was the goal ever any lower than 256 players, or higher? Technological problems going higher?

The inspiration for MAG was to take the base elements of fun MP gameplay and combine them on a large scale battlefield. We were shooting to make an experience that felt much like a larger war, rather than just a simple MP match. The 256 number came about as something we felt would be a definite challenge, but one we could achieve. It is the right number to create that large scale war, but also digestible enough to make matchmaking streamlined and map sizes within a perceptible grasp for players.





2) Besides the 256 online play -- what else do you want most people to relate/take away from this game or any press released about it?

Aside from the scale of battle, the other two key elements of MAG are the persistent elements of the game and the command structure. Sure the games are big, but we’ve put a ton of effort into leadership tools, communication tools, group tools, and community features. And of course, because of the persistence elements of the game, every battle matters. Your victories grow your own skills and capabilities, but as opposed to most MP games instead of just playing for yourself, you are fighting for the Private Army you’ve chosen to join. As your PMC succeeds, you benefit from the success of the whole.



3) How will the respawns work in MAG?

Respawns in MAG are built around a wave system. Every 20 seconds, any players that have died are respawned together at their squad’s spawn points. This allows for more realistic spawns such as a wave of players dropping in via parachute, or exiting their APC together. It also helps you spawn in with backup, rather than randomly spawning alone at some distant point in the battlefield.





4) If you can respawn in MAG, will you only have a set number of respawns? Or how does that work?

There is no limit on how many times you can respawn. We wanted to make sure that players wouldn’t have to leave their squad / friends during a battle, so as long as the battle rages you’ll be able to continue fighting. However, as mentioned before, respawns happen in waves to keep the battle flowing smoothly.



5) I know the game features land vehicles. Will there be a drievable tank? If so, what are you guys doing to balance that out?

The game is focused on infantry combat, so all vehicles are based on supporting the infantry. We don’t have plans for Main Battle Tanks at ship, as these are intended for vehicle to vehicle fighting. Rather, we have Armored Personnel Carriers which serve as a spawn point for the squad that owns them. So while they are powerful, they are also vulnerable. If you take it into the heart of combat and it gets destroyed, it will miss a respawn wave costing your squad a valuable spawn point for a period of time. So the best tactic is often to keep it on the edge of battle, where it can be used to rapidly deploy troops into combat.





6) Will there be water vehicles?

For launch, we decided to stick to land based vehicles to keep our maps and gameplay streamlined and focused.



7) Will you be able to play a 256 suppresion? If not, why?

Since the heart of MAG is on teamwork and tactical gameplay, most of our game modes are objective based. We do have a suppression game mode, though it takes the form of a faction exercise – as skirmish if you will. It’s intended to train new players on the basics of combat, with all of our larger maps being objective based. Of course, after launch, we will be considering many new game types which may include larger scale suppression maps.



Cool Will each faction have their own set of guns? Or can every faction use every gun?

Every faction has its own distinct, though comparable arsenal. The guns each faction uses are very much part of their style and attitude.



9) Can you use two main guns at once? Or is it one main and one pistol?

At all times players have a primary weapon and a backup weapon. We have a very deep weapon customization scheme, however, and both primary and backup weapons can accept attachments. It’s a ton of fun to take the base weapon and “make it your own” through customization.





10) Favorite part about developing for ps3?

It’s really been a kick to see the capabilities of the console’s cell architecture come through. As we get more and more optimizations for the cells implemented, we see big jumps in performance. We keep thinking we’ve tapped into all we can, only to find another technique for pushing the hardware a bit farther. It’s made 256 possible!



http://www.digitalchumps.com/featured-electronics/132-features/3313-10-burning-questions-about-scea-and-zippers-mag-with-answers.html

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